Will announce formation of new party within 10 days — Azad
Baramulla (J-K), Sep. 11 (PTI): Ghulam Nabi Azad, who recently parted ways with the Congress, on Sunday said he will announce the formation of his new political party within 10 days and asserted that its ideology will be “independent”.
The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said the agenda of the new political outfit would be to struggle for the restoration of J and K’s statehood and to fight for the job and land rights of people.
“I thank my colleagues who stand with me and are the base of my new party which, God willing, will be announced within the next 10 days,” Azad said addressing his maiden public rally in the Kashmir Valley after resigning from the Congress on August 26.
“My party will be Azad. Many of my colleagues said we should name the party as Azad. But, I said never. But, it’s ideology will be independent, which will not join or merge with any other. That may happen after my death, but not till then,” he said.
Azad said he was not against any political party, whether national or regional.
“Many people across party lines are my friends,” he said.
Referring to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s famous speech in which he had asked people to give him blood and in return he will give them freedom, Azad appealed the people of J-K that he will spill his blood for them if they support him.
“But, I request you not to fall prey to false slogans,” he said.
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in Parliament when Azad retired from the Rajya Sabha, the former Congress leader said “a human being does get emotional”.
“When I was the chief minister of J-K, some tourists from Gujarat were killed by militants. I got emotional and wept when I saw the pieces of their bodies lying there, their children hugged me and were crying. I am a human being.
“Modi was the CM of Gujarat then. He called me several times. My PA told him that I was weeping and cannot talk and will talk to him later. He kept calling several times in the day. When in the evening, I sent their bodies back, the children again hugged me. I was weeping and talked to Modi who had called to know if the bodies were sent, he said.
That is why, Modi got emotional when I retired from the Rajya Sabha. He remembered that incident. But, he (Modi) did not say that he cannot digest his food without me or that he cannot fall sleep without me, Azad said.
“The people of Kashmir should take pride in Modi’s remarks, about what he said about the humanity and the hospitality of the people of Kashmir. But, the leaders of Congress have never asked me about that. Because they do not have a heart. They use you and throw you away. Those leaders of opposition whom I have abused, have respected my humanity, my honesty and my work. So, what is wrong in that,” he said.
Azad, 73, ended his five-decade-long association with the Congress on August 26, terming the party “comprehensively destroyed”. He had lashed out at former Congress president Rahul Gandhi for “demolishing” the party’s entire consultative mechanism.